Pros: An unbreakable car.
Cons: Beware the 1990 model.
By now, everyone knows the virtues of the Miata, and if this review seems incomplete, it's because I don't want to repeat what everyone else has already said. So I will only add what I think has yet to be mentioned. Here it is:
THE BAD CRANK -- The 1990 model is the first year, and there was a defect on the nose of the crank. Not to get too technical, but the front of the crankshaft was poorly designed, and when it breaks, it requires a complete engine teardown. They fixed the problem after the first year, but if you buy a 1990 model, you MUST determined if the crankshaft has been replaced. If not, you are looking at a $2,000 repair. My crankshaft went out at 85,000 miles.
DURABILITY -- The true virtue of the Miata. Mine has 130,000 miles, and the engine uses no oil, has like-new compression. Nothing breaks on a Miata. OK, I had to replace the air-conditioning compressor, but that's to be expected on a high-mileage car. $800 to replace, which included converting it over to the modern refrigerant.
BRAKES -- Anyone who pays someone else to replace the brake pads on a Miata is a fool. I replaced the front pads on mine in less than 30 minutes, which included jacking the car and removing the wheels. Basic tools and a carpenter's C-clamp are all you need for this job, at a cost of $20.
CLUTCH -- I am not sure if the clutch on a Miata ever wears out. Mine is the original.
TOP -- The top is durable, but the rear window is not, as is the case with all convertibles with plastic windows. I replaced my top with an aftermarket one with a glass window, at a total cost of $650, including labor.
TIRES -- Tires do not wear out on a Miata.
SOUND SYSTEM -- It's lousy, but what do you expect on a tiny convertible?
SIZE -- I'm 5'11", and the Miata fits me just fine -- except for my size 12 feet. If you have big feet, you will need to learn how to climb into a Miata.
ONE MORE THING -- The drainage holes under the car are too small, and clog easily. If you think your top is leaking, it probably isn't -- the drainage holes are clogged, filling the floor with water. Crawling under the car with a screwdriver to pry open the holes fixes it.